Bill Walsh was one of the greatest football coaches of all time. His work with the San Francisco 49ers led to 20 years of excellence.
His main goal, not just with the players and coaches, but with the entire organization was to strive for perfection every day.
Failure leads to success. There is no formula for success, but the person who can endure failure to register ambitious goals will succeed.
Bill Walsh inherited the worst team in sports history. He had to teach the actions and attitudes to every person on the team payroll.
Bill had a Standard of Performance that applied to every person in the organization. Some of the requests seem trivial but they developed an atmosphere of excellence.
Bill inherited a team that was 2-14. He went from toxic to top-notch.
Even groundskeepers, ticket takers, and parking lot attendants.
Victory was not his prime directive. It was the adhering to the Standards of Excellence.
The factory line should be first-class or the cars that come off it will be second rate.
- Start with specific actions and attitudes
- Be clear in communication of your high standards (don’t let them seek lower ground)
- Expect others to adhere to a high level
- Teach your beliefs, values, and philosophy.
- Teach connection and extension.
- Make the expectations and metrics of the new reality. Provide the model yourself.
NFL teams adopted the motion of the tight end before the snap because of a botched play. They took lemons and make lemonade.
Success doesn’t care which road you take to get to his doorstep. Avoid rigid and traditionalist thinking. Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense was initially looked at as not football in the traditional sense at all. It was looked down upon. Now it is a way of life in the NFL
Few things are of greater value than praise. Give credit where credit is due.
Contingency planning in football and in business is incredibly important. You have to plan for both fine and foul weather. Bill Walsh scripted the first 25 plays of any football games to know what to predict the future.
Be prepared for anything. Makes the unforeseeable foreseeable.
Create a crisis team to plan for any potential outcome or scenario. If ____ happens, what do you do?
You have to be a good archaeologist. You have to take stock of your business in good times and in bad.
When giving criticism, don’t be vague. Be specific. If giving negative criticism, don’t stay negative. Cap with a positive. Stay in the present, don’t browbeat the past.
Vince Lombardi was so specific, he would start every season off with “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
Teaching is a passion – it’s the thing you get out of the way. It is THE goal for any coach.
Repeating as champions is the hardest thing to do. It’s because there is a thing called “success disease.” Confidence followed by overconfidence is much of the reason why. All that success does is put a bullseye on your back.
Recognize that mastery and remastery is a process, not a destination.
Walsh wanted characters, not a character.
A big Ego can be a good thing. Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, and Jack Walsh all have big egos. It means self-confidence. It’s bean productivity. Egotism is something different. It’s like a balloon filled with hot air. It’s self-importance.
Jerry Rice and Joe Montana would spend hours every day working in the drills and fundamentals that would bore a high school player. They did it to become great. They understood the practice to performance link.
Pretty packaging doesn’t sell a poor product. Put a good product on the field or in the marketplace and will sell itself. Premature promotion won’t help.